Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – April 14

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post with how our dinners have gone over the past week.  I started to say that last week was out of the ordinary, but truly, every week is a little different than the one before.

What is true is that I kept things very simple for dinner last week.  The week before I’d created quite a lot of recipes, so maybe I needed a break.  Or maybe I was just being lazy.

We started off Monday by staying up to watch the NCAA Basketball game.  Such a good game, but so sad for those of us here in Kentucky.  And it made us pretty tired the rest of the week too!

Monday night we had Orange Chicken.  I added a fresh pineapple that needed to be used and it was so good!  We love this quick meal.

Tuesday night I created a new recipe for a client.  It will be posted on the blog next month I think.  You’re going to love it!  I know we did.

Wednesday is an evening that has everyone going in different directions.  It was mostly YOYO (you’re on your own).  I did make a skillet of Migas for Jim, Mia and myself.

Thursday night I had book club.  I picked up a rotisserie chicken for everyone else to eat.

Friday night we ate a quick dinner of tacos before driving Isaac to the high school formal dance.  It was held at the castle and we wanted an opportunity to look around a bit.  This place sat empty for years and years before finally being turned into a hotel.



It’s not the kind of place you expect to see in central Kentucky, is it?

After we dropped Isaac off, we met friends at Graeter’s for ice cream.  The weather was gorgeous and we were able to sit outside to eat.

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu

  1. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  2. Sweet & Smokey Salmon
  3. Chicken Tacos
  4. Chicken Avocado Lime & Cliantro Soup
  5. Chicken Curry
  6. Veggie Pie
  7. Caramel Apple Pie

Traditional Menu

  1. Chicken, Plantains, and Spinach in Coconut Milk
  2. Steak Burgers
  3. Grilled Fish Sandwich
  4. Ham and Swiss Scalloped Potatoes
  5. Easy Pizza Rice Casserole
  6. Mexican Vegetables over Cornbread
  7. Brownies a la Mode with Wild Berry Sauce

Slow Cooker Menu

Real Life and a New Weekly Meal Plan – May 27


Happy Memorial Day!

I shared this photo on Instagram and Facebook the other day.  This is how the Weekly Meal Plan grocery lists look now that they’re color coded.  Happy!

I didn’t shop until Monday, because I was in Disney World for a conference last weekend.  I printed the Slow Cooker plan for this week.

And then, I never used a slow cooker during the week at all!  I find that I do a lot of improvising and changing things with the meal plans.  But it is so much easier to do that when I’ve shopped with a list and have a plan of what to fix.

Here’s how I made it work this week:

Monday was shopping day.  By the time I got home with the groceries, it was too late to make anything in the slow cooker.  The plan had  “Pork with Chinese Sauce, stir fry veggies and rice” for one night.  I decided to use chicken tenders instead of pork and cook it on top of the stove in a skillet instead of the slow cooker.  Quick and easy.

It was a beautiful evening for backyard games.


On Tuesday, I meant to put Slow Cooker Meatballs on to cook in the morning, but forgot all about it.  I decided to bake the meatballs in the oven instead.  Dinner was spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread and salad.

Tuesday afternoon, I took Meredith wedding dress shopping.  We were really just scouting things out until she gets back from her summer in China.  She wanted to get an idea of what’s out there for dresses, but she ended up finding a dress she liked.  It needs significant alterations, so those will be done when she gets home in August.

Wednesday, I failed to load up the crockpot again.  I’m the most distracted person ever!  I got busy working on other things and looked up at 5pm and realized the boys would be leaving soon for youth group.  They leave at the same time every week, and every week it takes me by surprise.  I was going to make one of our favorite 15 minute meals, but it has no meat and the boys balked at that.  So I fixed Southwest Chicken and rice instead.  Not on the plan, but I had all the ingredients and it was a quick fix.

Thursday, I planned to load up the slow cooker with ingredients for African Pulled Beef Sandwiches.  I forgot.  Again!  Instead, I made a quick dinner of Tony’s Tilapia, cauliflower and cream cheese smashed potatoes.

I was a bit frustrated over an issue with one of the kids while I was make dinner.  I might have gotten carried away with the Cajun seasoning in the heat of the moment.  The fish was a little spicy!

It’s now Friday (I’m writing this post a few days early), and we’ve got plans to eat out with friends.  The kids are staying home and having hot dogs, while the adults go out.  Oh the joys of having older kids!

Sometime over the weekend, I’m determined to fix some of the other slow cooker meals on the menu this week.  Saturday will be a perfect day for the African Pulled Beef Sandwiches.  Jim is planning to ride in a long bike ride and he’ll be hungry afterward.  And I’ve got several recipes to create and photograph for a client, so a slow cooker meal will come in handy.

I’d love to know how you improvise your meal plans.  Leave me a comment and let me know how it works (or maybe, doesn’t work!) for you.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  You can find out more about how to get them delivered to your inbox by clicking here.

All Slow Cooker Plan

Italian Seasoned Salt Chicken in the Slow Cooker
Complete Barbecue Chicken Dinner in the Slow Cooker
Slow Cooker Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce,
Easy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
Pork w/ Chinese Sauce (stir fry, sweet and sour, general tso’s, etc.)
African Pulled Beef Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker with Yogurt-Mint Sauce
Easy Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Cake

Traditional Plan

Complete Barbecue Chicken Dinner in the Slow Cooker
Breakfast for dinner! Scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, biscuits, bacon/sausage, and fruit
Orange chicken 
Chicago Style Pizza Pot Pie 
Red Sauce DiPaola 
Sloppy Cubanos 
Easy Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Cake

Real Life and Meal Planning – New Plans for May 20



I actually shopped with a real, printed grocery list this week!  After several weeks of not using the Weekly Meal Plans due to recipe development, crazy schedules and traveling family members, it was good to get back to shopping with a plan.

I chose the Traditional Plan for May 13, since I did my shopping for that week.  And we stuck pretty close to the menu too.

I shopped on Saturday.  Have I ever mentioned that I’m a speed shopper?  Especially in the grocery store, I don’t waste any time.  I grab that cart and I’m off!  If I can get through Walmart and home again in about an hour, I feel like I’ve really won.

Saturday evening, there were just two of us home at dinner time.  I knew others would be coming in later though, so I grilled 8 burgers.  We had sweet potato fries with them.  It tasted so good, like summertime.

Sunday was Mother’s Day.   Jim talked about taking us out to dinner, but our youngest daughter started running a fever on Saturday night.  And honestly, restaurants are pure craziness on Mother’s Day anyway.  I decided to make Crockpot Chicken Fajitas, but instead of using the crockpot I used my cast iron Dutch oven.  One of these days soon, I’m going to do a post on this pot.  I got it in December and I love it!  Best of all, it didn’t cost an arm and a leg.  I got a deal at Walmart.

I also wanted to make guacamole to go with dinner, but the avocados weren’t ripe yet.  So I googled “how to ripen an avocado fast” and came up with a method for doing so in the oven.  Chalk that up to too-good-to-be-true.  It didn’t work and we ran past the store after church for riper avocados.

There was a frost warning on Sunday night, so we had to tuck the strawberry plants under covers.


On Monday, I grilled chicken tenders outside.  I grilled a whole 3lb. bag and froze the extra.  I love having cooked meat in the freezer. It makes cooking so much faster.  I did a quick no-time-marinade, and doused the frozen chicken with Italian dressing before grilling.

We took a walk after dinner.  It was beautiful outside!

The grill ran out of gas just as the chicken was finished cooking.  Perfect timing!



Tuesday, I battled a migraine. Yuck.  We had an easy dinner of mac & cheese and steamed broccoli.  I also created a new ice cream recipe Tuesday afternoon that I can’t wait to share with you.  Look for it this Wednesday.

Wednesday, my son reminded me that it was youth group night. Normally, my oldest son drives them to church, but he’s been in NYC this week.  So it was up to either Jim or me to do the driving this time.  This also made me realize that I’m losing my driver for next year.  My son, who just graduated will be living at home.  But he won’t be going the same places as my younger son any more.  I’ll be back to chauffeuring and finding carpools.

I’m writing this post on Wednesday evening and I haven’t decided what we’ll eat yet.  It will either be Garlic Lime Tilapia or Enchiladas.

Thursday is laundry and packing day.  And Friday, I’m off to Walt Disney World for the Food Blog Forum Conference!  A long weekend in one of my favorite places with some food blogger friends sounds fun to me!

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  You can find out more about how to get them delivered to your inbox by clicking here.

Traditional Plan

Homemade Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker with hot dogs
Grilled sandwiches 
Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese 
Peanut chicken 
Pork Lettuce Wraps
Spanish Steak and Onions with roasted potatoes and asparagus (steak marinated in sliced onions, vinegar, and olive oil)
Frozen Mocha Marble Loaf

All Slow Cooker Plan

Garlic Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes in the Slow Cooker
Homemade Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker with hot dogs
Sweet and Sour Pork Chops in the Slow Cooker
Easy Meatball Subs
Pesto Tomato Ravioli (using cooking method from Ravioli in the Slow Cooker)
Cube Steaks and Gravy in the Slow Cooker
Lemon Cheesecake Dessert

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